Published: 07.19.2007

Traffic stop leads to 130-pound cocaine seizure
By Dale Quinn
A slow moving SUV on Interstate 10 Thursday morning was pulled over and its driver copped to traveling with more than 130 pounds of cocaine in the vehicle, a state Department of Public Safety official said.

The man, Jorge Luis Nieblas-Cordova, 29, was holding up westbound traffic near Marana about 10:20 a.m. when a canine officer stopped him, said Anthony Coulson, a Drug Enforcement Administration assistant special agent in charge.

Nieblas-Cordova, of Nogales, Sonora, was the only person in the vehicle. The cocaine was found hidden throughout the vehicle, Coulson said.

He estimated the street value of the cocaine at $2 million, but according to the National Drug Intelligence Center it's worth about $900,000.

Drug seizures of this size frequently occur in Southern Arizona, Coulson said.

"This is not unusual," Coulson said. "But it is significant."

The Drug Enforcement Administration is working the case along with the state DPS, Coulson said. It's too early to determine what ties the drug load had to any specific trafficking organization, he said.

Coulson would not say where the drugs were headed.